I’ve been literally running from one meeting to another lately – this business is hard on the shoes – but as today’s much clearer and I’m mulling over two very interesting conversations.
Mike Carey and I had a drink after his book signing last night, and he suggested that genres are over. These days everything’s a mash-up: House is a medical detective series; Firefly is a science fiction Western, etc.
Certainly it’s a long time since I could pitch a TV series idea without some form of subtext or new angle. The standard medical drama like Casualty, for instance, is a staple, but once you’ve got one or two of those, you’ve got to do something more interesting. So you deliver some uncomfortable truths about young doctors, in a comedy vein (Scrubs) or talk about a woman who’s highly capable at work but personally out of control (Nurse Jackie). Or you refresh it by combining it with another genre.
However, this morning I was talking to another writer, who suggested that once a genre is established, you take it out for a walk, as it were. Once we’ve got the hang of vampires, we can cope with the variations: vampires in high school; vampires in Regency literature, etc.